What is Worship?

I was asked the question, why is worship only 20 minutes at this church?

In thinking about the question, the problem with the question is what is assumed as worship.

What was meant as “worship” was the singing of songs during the church service. One can make an easy jump to concluded the this activity is worship because the musics being song is called “worship Music” to differentiate it from other styles of music. One might hear a person with the title of “worship leader” and assume that that person must lead the worship part of the service. One might also assume that when the said “worship leader” along with the “worship team” tells the gathered church “Let’s worship God” that sings along with the “worship leader” and “worship team” and band must be Worship. After didn’t Jesus tell us that worship is to gather and sing songs to and about him?

Um, no. Actually Jesus didn’t tell his disciple to stat a band and hold “Worship services”.

Jesus did give very clear instructions to his disciple on the night before he was crucified as how the church that Jesus had founded was to worship God correctly.

Jesus said “Do this…”

Let’s start with the word worship and look at the first time the word appears in the sacred text of the Bible. It starts with Abraham.

Notice that Abraham worshiped God without music or singing when he built and alter and sacrificed Isaac.

Genesis 22:5 (NIV)

[5] He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

Genesis 22:9 (NIV)

[9] When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.

This is the first time the word “worship” appears in scripture.

As we can see the word Worship has to do with sacrifice and not singing songs.

Musics in its proper usage supports worship but it is not worship and adds to the giving glory to God, but is not worship by and in its self.

In the New Testament Jesus gives us instructions as how worship is to be done.

Luke 22:19 (NIV)

[19] And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

The command of “Do this” is to the sacrifice of the body and blood.

Let’s break this idea of worship down with the following word association.

Worship = Sacrifice = Atonement for sins against God = Righteous from God through grace and the Glorification of Gods name= Restored relationship with God.

Jesus Didn’t tell his Disciples when you gather sing songs about me to worship me. He said “Do this in remembrance of me.”

The remembrances offerings is a memorial offering or a Friendship offering using bread.

John 6:53-58 (NIV)

[53] Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. [54] Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. [55] For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. [56] Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. [57] Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. [58] This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.”

And what does Jesus say about the offerings/worship? Eternal life is in the offering/worship.

John 6:53-58 (NIV)

[53] Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. [54] Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. [55] For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. [56] Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. [57] Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. [58] This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.”

The reason we think that worship is music is because we wrongly think that communion is nothing more than a symbol and has not supernatural component.

Therefore we equate the goosebumps we get while singing songs as the presence of the Holy Spirit and the approval of God.

Jesus clearly lays out the idea and method that Christian worship is still a sacrifice as was with Abraham and the Memorial offerings. but we have changed the idea of “Worship” to our sacrifice of praise in singing of songs instead of His sacrifice in the body and blood.

Even Paul supports the idea the communion or the eucharist is not a symbol but a supernatural event or a sacrament.

1 Corinthians 11:23-31 (NIV)

[23] For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, [24] and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” [25] In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” [26] For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

[27] Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. [28] A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. [29] For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. [30] That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. [31] But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.

1 Corinthians 10:16-18 (NIV)

[16] Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? [17] Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.

[18] Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar?

So to conclude we can say that music is good in that it supports the worship which is found in the sacrifice of Jesus. It can help prepare the Christian to participate in the body and blood of Jesus. But to call singing songs “Worship” is not what Jesus taught His disciple how to correctly worship God.

To return to the original question “why is worship only 20 minutes in this church?” I may answer what worship? I only witnessed singing for 20 minutes, 5 minutes of a announcements, 5 minutes of collecting money, and 30 minutes of preaching. I never saw any worship as prescribed by Jesus. I newer saw the part for worship that Jesus told us to do when we gather in his name.

This leaves us with the question, in our modern style of church service have we made the American evangelical church service more about us, for us, and to our liking, so to garner as many members as possible, than about the sacrifice and worship of God as prescribed by Jesus?

Will this question offend many in the self proclaimed worship? Maybe. Jesus had the same response and many left the ministry of Jesus when He told his Disciples this.

John 6:53-61 (NIV)

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.” He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you?

Do this in remembrance of me…..

Why is charging for a prayer training conference wrong?

Luke 11:1-2 (NIV)
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
He (Jesus) said to them, “When you pray, say:
“‘Father,hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.

Notice when Jesus was asked “teach us to pray” Jesus didn’t charge a fee for his “prayer training conference”. In stead Jesus gave freely the kingdom of God.

Jesus tells his disciple “Freely you have received, freely give.”

If someone’s charging you a fee for them to teach you to pray, Run from them!

Either what their teaching you was not “Freely Given” to them by the Lord and it is a counterfeit teaching, or they have “Freely” received from Jesus but the are disobeying the Lord’s instructions to give freely what they received freely. This is a spirit of greed or lust for money. You will want to stay away for this kind of teacher.

Matthew 10:7-8 (NIV)
As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Repentance verses Pride as Faith.

My current main concern is not about that many national and local prophetic voices got wrong their prophecy about Trump’s re-election in 2020, false prophecy can be corrected by better teaching as to how true prophecy and prophets biblically work.

But I’m more concerned about the pride of these false prophets that confuse not repenting from false prophecies but they instead see not admitting they are wrong as having “Faith”.
It is the lack of repentance that demonstrates the false spirit from which the false prophecy comes from.
The source of the error of what they are calling “faith” comes from “faith” in themselves and their prophetic gifting and not true faith that comes from the Holy Spirit and the gifts as a grace.

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit is not initiated by man’s will but at the unction of the Holy Spirit. The activation of the gift of prophecy is not at the will of man but at the will of God the Father through the Holy Spirit.

It is a mix of bad teaching of “supernatural self activation” which is witchcraft vs “Divine Grace activation” plus the prophetic gifted person’s pride, which leads to this lack of repentance.

The key open the Divine Grace that is in the hallmark of Kingdom of God is repentance.

Matthew 3:1-2 (NIV)In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Matthew 4:17 (NIV)From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Mark 1:14-15 (NIV)After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

The Danger of Lone Ranger Prophets

The problem is prophets by nature are rebellious. They have the personality the goes against the flow. Which if tamed by maturity and not defiled by Pride, can be useful to the Lord. But many in the church neither been confronted of their pride, healed of their self inflicted wounds, and submitted to the sanctify work of the Holy Spirit.

This is why many Prophets operate in the same spirit as Absalom did. They either do not want to be in a local church body submitted to the leadership of elders. They claim they are called the region and not just one church fellowship. As if they are so important and the only prophets for miles around. Currently Prophets can be found everywhere, just google, or look on Facebook or YouTube.

Some will go and start their own church so they can be the elder and only voice of God.
These kind of “prophets” do not want their prophecies judged by elders and leadership. It is a Pride issue, once they “hear from God” they don’t care what others think, they will not admit that they didn’t hear from God but from their own imagination.

The reason they can’t be wrong is that would undermine all their spiritual authority they think they have as a prophet. That would the undermine the so called “Regional Authority”. And that would affect the number of followers and donations that come to their traveling meetings.

Pastors need to stop hosting these so called Prophets. Your not a “Regional Prophet” your just a homeless, rebellious, prophet.

Some will under this principle and claim that they have a church home, but have only gone to their “Home Church” once or twice a year. If you are on the road more days than you meet and sever at your home church, that is an indication that you are not a member of the church but just a visitor. Spot claiming you have a church family. If you only spent on or two weekends a year with your family but the rest of the year spent your time at other people homes, your marriage would be considered a shame. Many Lone Ranger Prophets will claim they have a home church to a host pastor, the truth is that is just smoke a mirror to make you think they are submitted to leadership.

1 Corinthians 14:29-32 (NIV)
[29] Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. [30] And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. [31] For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. [32] The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.

1 Corinthians 13:9 Is Not A Get Out Of Jail Free Card for False Prophets and Prophesies.

“For we know in part and we prophesy in part,” – 1 Corinthians 13:9 (NIV) Saint Paul

Many people teach that the interpretation of this verse is that a person can give a prophecy while claiming that their words of from God, and still get some or all of the words that they attributed to God wrong and still be called a prophet.

This is nowhere near what the verse means nor the idea that Saint Paul of Taurus was trying to convey when he penned these words.

The spirit filled and word of faith church has had a major teaching problem for some time. They take a scripture out of it’s context by only reading that one verse and not the context supporting and surrounding it. Then using it alone as a proof text and foundation for a new doctrine. When this happens, by removing the context, it allows the preacher/teacher to change the interpretation and application of the scripture without the surrounding text conflicting with their new interpretation and application.

The context around the verse 1 Corinthians 13:9 has to do with knowledge, prophecy, and “tongues” as they are in the process of fading away, slowing down, or even ceasing to be used by the Holy Spirit because of the greater revelation of who is God through Jesus the Christ and the returning of Jesus the Christ.

The meaning of the verse is connected to the previous verse, and then continuing with the thought the Author is conveying in the following verse.

1 Corinthians 13:8-12 (NIV)

[8] Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. [9] For we know in part and we prophesy in part, [10] but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. [11] When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. [12] Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

When read in context we can see that author’s main thought is centered around the idea that spiritual gifts will be needed less and many will fade away as we know Jesus better. Saint Paul’s main theme in this section of the letter is that the true sign of maturity in Christ is not one ability to function in spiritual gifts, but a growth in the grace of Charity/Love.

Making the verse say that it is “ok to be completely wrong while claiming God said something”, which he did not, is not the intention of this verse, nor is it the proper application, but instead it give a very dangerous application to not bring correction to whom would use the Lords name in vain using “God Said” or God told me” to imply God’s authority to their own words from their vain imagination.

The idea that people could build ministries that take in large amounts of donations and gather large amounts of followers to people who claim to be prophets who sometimes get there prophecy right and sometimes get it wrong, has become the fruit of this wrong interpretation and application of this verse. This is not good fruit for the body of Christ.

Wrongly applying the interpretation and application of this verse as a pass on missing words attributed to God is not consistent with who scriptures throughout the Bible have given clear instructions on how God describes what is false prophecy and what should be done with false prophecies and false prophets. This is why it’s so dangerous to preach and teach this verse out of context.

Many will claim that this verse is proof that there is an “Old Testament prophet” and “New Testament Prophets”. Which is not true, no where in the New Testament is there any verse or teaching that claims that the gift of the prophet or the standard to judge prophecy has changed. Many will agree that the “Old Testament standard” of a true prophet is that the all the words come 100% to pass and false prophet’s words don’t. Even the serpent in the Garden and Satan temping Jesus in the desert were only partially correct when claiming “God said”.

The test for prophecy is Pass or fail, there is no partial pass. But many who are not 100% accurate in the words they attribute to God still want to be called prophet, and still want to have their influence, their teaching platforms, their conferences, and their financial donations to keep coming in.

This is why there is a wide spread misuse and wrong interpretation and application of this verse. It allows for major ministries to claim there is the Old Testament standard for prophetic ministries but they don’t apply to them because they are a “New Testament Prophet”.

The Bible simply doesn’t teach that there are Old Testament and Then New Testament Prophets with two different standards of Judging their prophesies. John the Baptis was in the New Testament and was called by Jesus a prophet.

Luke 7:26-28 (NIV) But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,who will prepare your way before you.’ I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

And in Acts in one example when Luke writes about prophets he doesn’t say the where “New Testaments Prophets”, but instead just the Prophets.

Acts 11:27-28 (NIV) During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.)

Notice Luke was careful to include that not only did he use the term prophet to describe them, he makes sure to let his reader know that the Prophet’s prophecy did come to pass.

Later Luke again use the term Prophets and does not say “New Testament Prophets” in referring to Judas and Silas.

Acts 15:32 (NIV) Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers.

We can go own with other authors of New Testament and find that they don’t make a distinction between Old Testament Prophets and New Testament Prophets. In the early church there were prophets with the same ministries by the Holy Spirit that came before the birth, death, and resurection of Jesus.

There is just no such thing as a so called “New Testament Prophet” with a different standard of judging false prophecy as false prophets. There are just Prophets.